The 12 countries Derbyshire residents can go on holiday from May 17
The Government has revealed it’s much-awaited ‘green list’ of destination for quarantine-free travel from May 17.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveiled details of the new foreign travel rules at a coronavirus briefing today, Friday, May 7.
In just 10 days, holidaymakers will be able to travel abroad from England under a 'traffic light system', with countries rated green, amber or red based on their Covid risk.
Popular short-haul destinations such as Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel are among 12 countries which are on the green list so far.
Speaking at the Downing Street briefing, Mr Shapps said the removal of restrictions was "necessarily cautious", adding that the "success in combating Covid" in the UK was "not yet replicated in many places abroad".
"We must make sure the countries we reconnect with are safe," he added.
Many of the countries on the green list have restrictions on who can visit from abroad, such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore which are rated ‘green’ but are closed to UK tourists.
Mr Shapps said people looking to travel overseas should check any restrictions that apply to new arrivals.
The green, amber and red travel lists will be reviewed every three weeks from May 17, he added.
Other holiday favourite destinations such as France, Greece and Spain are not yet included on the green list, but Mr Shapps said he hopes that more will be added in time.
Responding to Mr Shapps’ announcement, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Open borders are a fundamental part of a fully-functioning economy, so this is a step in the right direction – although one with obvious limitations due to only 12 countries being on the green list.
“And given the experiences of last summer, when quarantine rules changed midway through trips for many holidaymakers and caused problems for both employers and employees upon their return, there will no doubt be residual anxiety and hesitation this summer.
“So while we completely understand the need to be vigilant against Covid-19 variants in order to ensure our exit from lockdown is indeed irreversible, we hope the Government will be very clear in its guidelines and instructions so that people can travel in full confidence – and give businesses the assurances they need when staff leave the country.
“It’s also important for the costs of tests, which are still required for people visiting green list countries, to be driven down in order to open up the opportunities for international travel to a broader population.
“We also hope this is just the beginning and more countries are added to the green list as soon as possible, particularly to popular destinations among East Midlands Airport passengers, such as Spain, Greece and France.
“Being driven by data, and not dates, there should be no hesitation in adding a country to the green list if the data shows it is safe to do so.”
The full list of 12 countries and territories people in England can travel to without having to quarantine upon return are:
- New Zealand
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island